The January/February edition of Fine Art Connoisseur magazine carries an article I wrote about seeing the Prado’s exhibition, El Paisajista: Martín Rico y Ortega (1833-1908).
I don’t think Mr. Penny’s advice in this interview is the basis for his opinions; but, he has been trained by a hundred years of art historical practice to talk to the public about art in an imprecise and unhelpful way. This work has been through a host serious scientific tests, including carbon dating and comparative chemical testing of pigments used in undisputed da Vinci paintings. These are not the kind of tools available to average museum-goers who Mr. Penny invites to “judge for themselves.” If he were a lawyer, we would expect him to say “Here is the compelling evidence for and against . . . therefore I am pretty sure it is attributable to da Vinci.” not: “I’m pretty sure . . . It’s weird . . . ask someone else.” It is a sign of our times that a trained scholar and Director of one of the world’s great museums would tell people to look at and interpret a Renaissance painting as though it were a 1960s drip painting.
Located a short walk from the Royal Palace, the Basilica de San Francisco el Grande is not on most tourists’ itineraries. It should be. Even when tourist visit, it is to see the Capilla de San Bernardo (Chapel of Saint Bernard) where a large painting by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828) hangs. Goya’s work [...]
We do not usually associate the two; but, there it is, a Van Gogh hanging somewhere between one of the world’s largest collections of antiquities and the Sistine Chapel.
With only 36 hours in Lisbon, there was little time for me to explore. I wanted to visit the city’s most well-known art museum. So, when I asked a cab driver to take me to the Museum of Fine Art, I was taken to the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. (Roughly translated as the “National Museum of Ancient Art,” the term “ancient” in Portuguese does not have the same meaning in English, which would imply anything from pre-historic to, perhaps, the birth of Christ.)
As those of you who follow my tweets (apologies for the shameless Twitter plug) know, I have been traveling for the past three weeks. I was in Spain for eleven days, France for one, and another five in California. To some it might sound like glamorous, Indiana-Jonesing; but, in reality, I spent most days underground [...]
Edward Moran (American, 1829-1901). Seated in a side pose in front of a work in progress. Photographer unknown. (c. 1870)
A new and exciting historical photography source is now online. (Yes, I used “historical” and “exciting” in the same sentence.) Called “The Commons,” it is a collaboration between the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, Flickr.com and several [...]
Vilhelm Hamershøi. Untitled (c. 1900) Oil on Canvas.
Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. The exhibition, Vilhelm Hammershøi: The Poetry of Silence, at the Royal Academy in London displays more than 60 of Hammershøi’s works and runs until September 7. (It will then travel to Tokyo.)
Hammershøi received training at the Royal Danish Academy of [...]
Cover of Prado. On the Cover Design: A Preparatory drawing by the sculptor Cristina Iglesias for the [...]
Alphonse Mucha. Poster for the Exposition of The Slav Epic. (1928). Color Lithograph.
I went to Madrid to continue research on Spanish painters, and left with an obsession for the Czech painter Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939).
Photograph of the CaixaForum building’s vertical garden.
While walking to a cafe next to my hotel, I stumbled onto an exhibition [...]